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14530Over 1000 attend St. Matthew Passion Premiere

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    Feb 9, 2011

      Over one thousand attend St. Matthew Passion Premiere

      Posted 02/09

      NEW YORK, NY [SVOTS/OCA] -- Over 1,000 people streamed into Saint
      Paul the Apostle Church here on Monday evening, February 7, 2011, to
      hear the St. Matthew Passion, composed by His Eminence, Metropolitan
      Hilarion [Alfeyev] of Volokolamsk, an episcopal member of the Board
      of Trustees of Saint Vladimir's Seminary and chairman of the Moscow
      Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations.

      The performance -- the US English-language premiere of the opus --
      was hosted by the seminary in cooperation with the Roman Catholic
      Archdiocese of New York.

      Maestro Greg Hobbs, who next week will conduct a performance of the
      work in Dallas, took command of soloists, string orchestra, and
      chorus to deliver a stately and majestic performance. Under his
      baton, The Salome Chamber Orchestera; famed soloists Mary Mackenzie,
      Ana Mihanovic, Blake Friedman, and Aaron Theno; and the New York
      Virtuoso Singers prepared by Harold Rosenbaum, magnificently
      elucidated text and music, creating a highly expressive yet sober
      symphonic experience for the audience. Protodeacon Vadim Gan, who
      sang the principal baritone part of "The Evangelist," anchored their
      rhapsodic voices and soul-stirring strings to scriptural passages,
      which he intoned with humble subtlety.

      Metropolitan Hilarion studied composition at Moscow Gnessin School of
      Music and subsequently at the Moscow State Conservatory. His musical
      compositions include the Divine Liturgy [2006]; the All-Night Vigil
      [2006] for a cappella choir; the Christmas Oratorio for soloists,
      boys choir, mixed choir, and symphony orchestra [2007]; and A Song of
      the Ascent, a choral symphony on the Psalms [2008].

      Additional information and photos appear on the seminary web site at